Around 10 horses were stolen nationally in August, representing a hike in numbers, according to Garry Porter of the National Horsewatch Alliance.
Between 12-15 August, three young coloured fillies were stolen from Somerset, a yearling cob from Telford and a 13.2hh children’s pony from the Thames Valley area.
H&H has also heard of two botched attempts at thefts during that period, including one in Biggleswade where one of two stolen ponies fell through the floor of a stolen trailer and had to be put down.
David Collings, Horsewatch coordinator for Hampshire, said: “The main targets are cobs and miniatures, as they are easier to pick up.”
Helen Evans from Thames Valley Horsewatch said the theft of a quality horse is unusual.
“They usually get found pretty quickly,” she added.
Mr Porter agreed, adding: “We’ve never seen so many young foals going, either.”
He also urged owners to take extra security measures.
He said: “We see property identification as the main weapon. Microchipping is unique, but it’s not visible — it’s much more difficult to steal and sell a freeze-marked horse.”
This article was first published in Horse & Hound (10 September, ’09)